The dog DNA test market is booming. Curious owners are now paying out dollars to get a clearer picture of their mixed breed dog genetics. Owners of purebred, but non-KC registered dogs, are getting their dog’s pedigree confirmed and there are even maternity an paternity tests available.
The advancement of DNA testing for dogs brings a huge leap forward in the medical realms. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) are a breed known to suffer from two debilitating diseases – episodic falling syndrome, and dry eye and curly coat. Testing dog DNA will now show whether or not a dog is infected with these diseases.
Episodic falling syndrome is a disease where the muscles in the CKCS become so tight and rigid that the dog falls to the ground. The dog’s back will arch, the legs become stiff and sometimes the head will curl in so far towards its hindquarters that the dog somersaults.
Episodes normally occur when the dog is exercising or excited, but sometimes it can be triggered for seemingly no reason. When the condition is very bad it often results in the dog being put to sleep.
Dry eye and curly coat is a disease where the eye does not produce any tears and becomes extremely sore and painful. The dog’s skin will become sore and flaky, especially the feet. Dogs with this disease are most often euthanized.
It is only in the past year and a half that this medical DNA test for dogs has been available. In April 2011 a test was released and it allows owners and breeders to test their CKCS for these two conditions. Although there is still no cure, or even much known about the two diseases, this is a step to filtering out the dogs who are at risk and ensuring that they are no longer used for breeding.
There are three results of the dog DNA test: those who tested clear of the diseases completely, those who tested as a carrier and those who tested as positively having the conditions.
Those dogs that tested positive should no longer be used as breeders. Those that tested as a carrier can be bred with clear dogs and clear dogs can be bred with carriers and other clear dogs.
Puppies of all litters of parents that have not been tested should be tested to ensure no affected pup gets sold.
Knowing about these conditions is essential for potential CKCS owners, as is knowing what breeders can, and should, be doing to stop the spread of these diseases.
Dog health is not always paramount to unscrupulous breeders so going in armed with knowledge and a lot of questions will help an owner make an informed decision before buying a puppy.
A breeder of CKCS who shows little or no knowledge about the dog DNA test for these conditions should be very quickly marked off your list, as he clearly is in the business to make money instead of breeding healthy, happy pups.
A breeder who has complied with all the breeding standards will be able to produce clear dog DNA test results – any excuse not to produce one is not valid and do not purchase a puppy until it has been seen. Breeders who are not following the correct guidelines will try to sweet talk their way to a sale and gloss over the buyers concerns or worries maybe even resorting to accusing the buyer of being too inquisitive. Remember if they can’t prove it, then it’s probably not true!
The health of all dogs should be of the highest concern to all breeders, unfortunately that is not always the case so it falls to the buyers to root out the bad breeders and only trust the ones who are open, honest and can provide proof of following the MVD and SM breeding protocols, and of having both parents tested for the following: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and sight and hearing testing.
Verbal confirmation should be backed up with vet certification before purchasing a puppy.
For more information about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, click here to check out the highly recommended Insider’s Complete Guide To the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel package today.